How good is the camera on the HTC One?

We've seen the comparisons between the HTC One and the Galaxy S4, and we've read the reviews for both, also.  Surely, that's all that we need to know, right?  Questions still remain, like how the camera of the One stacks up in real world use.  That's exactly the question that Android Central Forums member Bobbman asked:

Hello all. ... Strongly considering the HTC One. Camera quality is really important to me. I have heard some mixed opinions about the camera. Was hopping you could help me based on the following criteria:

  • How do photos look on large computer screen. Do not care about cropping or zooming in. Just want them to look good on large screen.
  • The low light photos are they really good on a consistent basis? I looked at the photo thread and it seems a bit hit or miss.
  • Does the video capture record sound well? Also have seen mixed opinions about this.
  • Do photos print well on to a standard 4x6 print? Again not worried about cropping.

Thanks for any input!!!

It's a lengthy conversation already, but the past couple of days have focused on how to get the best pictures out of the One.  Some of these tips will apply to just about any device, though. Head past the break for some highlights.

SCjRqrQCnBQ19QoYCtdl had this to say:

The camera has an f/2.0 lens, Optical Image Stabilization, and much larger pixels than competing phones. This means it has low light abilities that other phones can not match.

In good light, other phones with more megapixels can produce more detail when viewed at very large sizes, but the One photos are very good at screen resolution and would be fine for a 4x6 print or larger.

For me, I am very happy with the camera for the low light ability as well as the features (zoe/highlights). The camera is very important to me in selecting this phone, and after 1 month, I am glad that I made this choice over the S4 based on the camera.

Things I don't like about the One camera include 16:9 format, and less than expected dynamic range (easy to blow highlights to pure white).

Hoping HTC improves the dynamic range through software as the larger pixels should provide better dynamic range.

madlaw1071 follows it a few posts down with this:

There are many things to like about the One's camera:

  1. It's remarkably FAST. It opens quick and snaps shots faster than any camera phone I've seen.
  2. The interface is simple and intuitive
  3. Low-light performance is impressive BUT this can be misleading. Whereas the One will take better low light pictures on average than it's competitors, the small amount of mega pixels necessitate that phones like the iPhone 5 and S4 are capable of better low light pictures with the proper settings tweaks.

It really depends on how you plan on using your camera. For outdoor shots, the S4 has it all over the One and every review bears this out. If you will only look at photos on your phone or tablet, then the lack of MP on the One wont be a handicap to you. However, if you will view pics on your PC or TV or make prints, then the lack of MP will lead to a lack of detail in the pics and forget about zooming and cropping pics on the One, the pics will be terrible.

I have both the One and the S4 and if the 2 cameras could be combined it would be perfect. To me, the S4 camera is better overall but again, your usage may vary. 

It would be difficult to have this discussion without comparison between the Galaxy S4 and HTC One.  There's also some technical talk about pixel size and how that relates to quality.  It's really good conversation.  If you have any photography knowledge at all, please, feel free to jump in offer your expert advice.  You'll also find plenty of sample images from the One.

Visit the thread here and join the discussion

Kevin OQuinn